Networking Your Way to Profit - Part 3 'Your Hidden Marketing Opportunity'

Carol Bentley

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Do you have a business card? What does it say about you? About your company?

Could anyone pick it up and know instantly exactly what you offer and the benefits they could enjoy by doing business with you? If your answer is “No” you are missing a vital marketing opportunity…

Having said that, the content of your business card depends very much upon how you use it. If you only ever present it to clients or prospects you’ve spent some time with then the minimum amount of information is all you need. That’s because these people already know you and the purpose of your card is purely to serve as a reminder of your contact details.

But if you attend business meetings, networking with other business people then your card has to fulfil a completely different purpose. It has to work harder for you.

The challenge you, and your business card, is facing is making sure that the people you meet briefly DO remember you and DO remember what you offer. You want to know that when everyone else returns to their office or place of business and glances through the, possibly hundreds, of business cards they’ve collected, yours stands out.

Now I don’t mean it has to be a vivid colour, or a garish design or have wacky graphics on it (although if this is appropriate for your business that’s fine). What it does need is information that clearly explains what you do.

Just try this out – have a look at the business cards you’ve collected. Let’s assume you don’t know any of these people or their businesses in any great depth. Does their card tell you what they do? What they offer? And if it is clear, such as for an accountant or solicitor/attorney, what makes them stand out from all the other cards you have for people in the same profession?

What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

* Does it clearly show what you do or offer? (Your Company name / logo may not be explicit enough).

* Does it show your USP (unique selling proposition)?

* Does it give a testimonial from a happy client/customer?

* Is your photo on there?

* What’s on the back of your card -it isn’t blank - is it?

When I explained to a client the business card is a marketing tool and should include a photo, his response was “I don’t want my ugly mug on there” (actually he’s quite good looking, but modest). I told him being a ‘shrinking violet’ was not going to help his business to grow. The intention of the photo is to make your card stand out and make it easier for people to remember you afterwards.

Plus, if you send a card with any literature in the post it gives the person receiving it a sense of confidence they are dealing with a ‘real person’ – not an anonymous company. Remember people buy from people.

The Alternative to Your Photo

If, like my client, you really feel embarrassed about having your photo on your card – try this idea:

Get a photo of you with a happy, smiling client/customer. Ask their permission to use the photo and a testimonial from them in your marketing. Make sure the testimonial is specific, not “Great company, would use again” but “I had problem and am delighted with solution you provided”.

Put the photo, with the testimonial underneath, on your card. (N. B. if you are a guy get a female customer to pose with you and vice versa).

Front and Back


* Company Name
* Your Name
* Your Contact Details
* Your Photo
* A Descriptive Strapline

Your descriptive strapline is a single ‘headline’ style sentence that encapsulates what your business does. (It could be your 1-liner from your elevator speech that we talked about in Part 1 and 2 of Networking Your Way to Profit).


* Your marketing message: a description of what you offer.
* Testimonial(s) from happy clients/customers
* Key benefits you deliver

If you are planning to use your cards extensively at business and networking meetings include some space for people to make a note:

We met at……………. On (date)…………….
We spoke about………………………………………. .

In Networking Your Way to Profit Part 4, you find out how to position yourself and your company with your business cards and then how to put the cards you’ve collected from others to effective use.

©2005 Original Work by Carol Bentley

Author of ‘I Want to Buy Your Product. . . Have You Sent Me a Letter Yet? (How to create powerful sales letters, advertisements, flyers, brochures, web pages and newsletters that persuade hundreds, or even thousands, of additional customers and clients to buy from you!) by Carol A E Bentley (Rated 5-star on

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